Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Ploughman's

The Ploughman's Lunch
After my run the other night I was lazy. I knew that I wanted something but i wasn't sure what. It turned out, I craved The Ploughman. I bought a melon, apple, I had gruyere, got some deli "meat ends", and a french baguette. When I got it and cut it all up in my appropriate portion sizes, it took up two plates. Which was awesome.

[my plates are 1950's plates which are much smaller than plates of today]

Since I had it all cut up and ready, I brought it in for lunch the next day too. It's funny, the shift in eating that I've had from now to back in 2009. When reminded by Courtney & Tracy to add in my fruits & veggies, I actually did it. I need to get experimental with my fruits & veggies though. I really want to learn more about greens, kale, etc.

I also found a little article about baking "hard-boiled" eggs in the oven and i've got a full dozen to bake up this weekend. My lunch box is a make shift bento box and while i've not gotten adventurous in the "design" of the food like a traditional bento, I have gotten adventurous in all the stuff I put in it. New fruits, new cheeses, new meats. I've got a long way to go but the single living lady in me is thankful for The Ploughman.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Awkward shower

Today is Wednesday. Wednesday's are my group running days. It's the second week of group running and my schedule has already suggested a change. I was invited to a wine tasting a few weeks back, so I had already said yes. I knew that I couldn't use it as an excuse to not run, so I knew I would have to run before work or at my lunch break.

I planed it out as follows. Pack bag the evening prior. Lay out running clothes. Set alarm for 5:20am. Drive up to the park, stretch, and begin run by 6:30am. I meant to go for the full 3.2 miles but then i hit the wrong thing on my phone and it ended my run, so I just walked back to the car & stretched.

I enjoyed the morning because it was dark when I started out and with each morning running I passed we did the "motorcyclist wave" and said a small hello. I was running at a good pace, I could hear the tempo of my breathing, foot falls, music, and my arm motion all just working nicely together. While, I wanted to run further its probably better that I just stayed on the average of 2.4 miles for right now. Saturday I can push 3 miles and make 3 miles the norm.

I work in Saratoga, so running in the park is a great option. It's actually where I run Monday nights. I know the loops, know roughly the mileage. Know what part of the park I'm scared of (damn hills). So I knew that i could run relatively early in the park even if it was dark out. If I lived near work, or ran near where I lived I wouldn't have obsessively freaked out about how to get clean & pretty after an early run.

Work has a shower.
It's odd. 
An accessible shower on the first floor.

I've used it on a weekend once after running a race in Saratoga. However, I didn't have to think about people coming into work seeing me rock the brightest of athletic gear. This morning, was different. People were in the building and more would be arriving soon.

I made it to the office around 7:20am and took the awkward work shower. It's awkward for several reasons. The largest reason is there is a shower rod but no curtain.You have to check to make sure the two door locks are locked. Not many people use the shower option at work, normally it's the single stall bathroom that the first floor people use to get away from the group stall bathroom. So since there is no curtain, the water goes everywhere. One must place their bag of clothes far away from the actual shower so they don't get wet.

Since it is also an accessible shower you have to make the choice of bench down or bench up. Both have it's pros and cons.  I go for bench up (space), but it leaves me to some creative endeavors on how to place hair products and soap places. It's also a little awkward because it's not a normal evening after work for me. So trying to look nice on minimal product, appliances, and what wardrobe can fit in a bag is not a skill that I've mastered yet. I'm sure this will occur several more times over the season and eventually I will get a curtain for that damned rod. I packed up all my stuff, double checked that I didn't forget anything and did the quick walk out of the room.

The only odd glance was when walking back out to my car to place my towel and bag in the trunk. The look was "ummn why are you carrying a towel?" My nerdiest answer would be quipping back about the Hitchhikers Guide. In reality, I just shuffled out to the car, put everything in,  walked across the parking lot for my egg sandwich and then it was just another day at the office.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A new season starts

A new season of running starts. With it comes new dilemmas. I now know what it is like to run The Boilermaker. I now know what it is like to injure yourself. I now know that foam rolling & stretching isn't a joke. I now know I can do it, so with that knowledge comes procrastination.

I signed up for a second season with BeRunning and while the beginning months of my membership were ones where it was too cold for my asthma, or my leg hurt too much, or the flu took me out. Going to last nights group session was still scary. We have a little community on Facebook and I try to post when I am running there so I can be more accountable, so I have others who will lovingly yell at me if I don't make it to a run.

I knew I needed to start training in March to make The Boilermaker a possibility. I pulled into the parking lot and saw my mentor out putting flags up to mark the trail we were using that evening. Then Ed pulled in and we started talking about running, about how we all took off more time than we wanted in between running. About what type of interval to start running at. For my last race in December I was running 2 minutes and walking 45 seconds. I didn't know if it would be too much or not. Ed, then sprang it on me. Why don't you run the Hudson Half after The Boilermaker. He and Kate are training for it. I think Joel & Mark are running it. Lots of area running friends are running it. I might be able to run it in 3.30 or 4 hours but after training the spring, summer & fall, I might be able to run it in the 3.30 zone. So my interest is peaked but I have to make the decision soon & register if I want to. Curse you Ed, for getting grand ideas in my head.

We started up, did our introductions and our stretches. It was a speed workout. Not the best for me to be picking my running back up again but I needed the group mentality to make a start of it all. As I started out with Kerry, I remembered everything I learned last season. Loosen my shoulders, good posture, exaggerated baby steps. We were basically walking one flag and running two. (other runners do a run faster than average pace, then during their recovery [where i walk] they just run at their regular pace)

Like usual, I started out faster than we needed to be. We decided on a 14 min pace for the speed work. Kerry has a gps watch that i am jealous of because it lets us know our pace. When she had to break off from me to talk to a fellow participant, I was on my own for trying to figure out my pace. Usually it's the rhythm of my breathing matched with my foot strike. However, I was going a bit too fast. I made it around the trail 3 times in 43 minutes, which is good for me.[note to self: get one of those fancy watches] It felt OK running. Felt like it was semi normal. I'll run this week on Friday instead of Saturday because St. Patrick's Day has me everywhere.

Today I'm reaping the benefits of running. A co-worker said to me, you're awfully smiley today. I replied back, yeah that I ran last night, that my season was starting. That it's one month of living on my own, that I'm taking care & protecting myself from things and people that hurt me, and that I'm running. It's a lot of things to be smiley about.

It's nice to have a bit of pep in my step.